Our Blog

September 22, 2015

JEP Welcomes Senator Durbin

On September 18, Senator Richard Durbin visited the office of the Justice Entrepreneurs Project, an incubator for lawyers to start their own socially-conscious law practices. At his speech at the 2015 ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards luncheon in August, the Senator had highlighted the JEP as an example of an innovative approach to closing the […]

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September 21, 2015

Justice for All: A Fundamental Responsibility of Our Government and Our Legal Community’s Responsibility to Hold Them to It

CBF Report September 2015

“Liberty and justice for all is one of America’s most cherished principles, and a fundamental part of the very fabric of our nation. Our founding fathers fought a revolution for it. Thousands of brave men and women since then€“from Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King and all who fought with them€“risked their lives to ensure that the principle of justice for all truly applied to all Americans.

Justice for all knows no political exclusivity. It is not a Democratic or Republican value, but an American value. At the opening of each and every session of this Senate, we stand together and pledge our allegiance to this founding principle. Millions of schoolchildren pledge their allegiance every day to this fundamental tenet of our country.

Yet today in Illinois and throughout the United States, we are falling far short of fulfilling our nation’s promise of €˜justice for all.'”

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September 17, 2015

Fighting for Renters’ Rights

Chicago has seen its highest percentage of renters in decades. Now the majority of Chicago residents, renters are often the victims of housing injustices, especially low-income renters.  While homeowners facing foreclosure have policies and laws in place to help ease their losses, there has been a gap for renters living in foreclosed buildings. They are […]

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September 16, 2015

CGLA Expungement and Sealing Help Desk

Would you like to assist low-income individuals with expunging their criminal records and removing a significant barrier to achieving long-term stability in their lives? Attend Cabrini Green Legal Aid’s (CGLA) Expungement and Sealing Help Desk training to get started! The training is divided into two parts: October 13th and either October 20th or 21st from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Learn more about the training and Help Desk opportunity.

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September 11, 2015

Signed into Law! Civics Education Gets a Boost in Illinois

All Illinois students will get a real lesson in civics thanks to HB 4025, which Governor Rauner recently signed into law. The bill promotes greater civic learning in Illinois by requiring one semester of civics education for all Illinois high school students.

HB 4025 was based on the recommendations of the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education, which […]

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September 2, 2015

Bridging the gap

What can the UK legal system learn from the Chicago Bar Foundation’s innovative Justice Entrepreneurs Project?

The American Bar Association conference July 30-August 4 in Chicago brought in representatives from around the world, including Chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, Alistair MacDonald. Intrigued by the concept of the Justice Entrepreneurs Project, which he visited, MacDonald penned his thoughts on the program and whether it would work in the UK legal system. Read his article Bridging the gap in Counsel Magazine.

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August 20, 2015

The Globe Trotting Flag

The CBF flag sees yet another mountaintop! Past CBF board president Kimball Anderson and Karen Anderson (of the Anderson Fellowship) brought the CBF flag along on their adventures trekking the Peruvian Andes. Above they’re pictured with the flag high above Machu Picchu, and the photo at bottom right was snapped at 15,000 feet. This […]

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August 18, 2015

Doing it for the Kids: The Children’s Initiative Speaks Up

Kids who find themselves in the custody of the government aren’t able to speak up for increased safety, better trained staff, or a reorganization of the system. That helps explain why, for many years, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was considered one of the worst child welfare programs in the nation. Its […]

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August 11, 2015

Signed into Law! Groundbreaking Veterans Legal Program Will Move Forward

Veterans and military families in Illinois will have much greater access to necessary legal help after key amendments to the Access to Justice Act were signed into law by Governor Rauner last week.

The Access to Justice Act, originally passed in 2013, created a pilot program to develop and support a much-needed hotline and network of […]

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August 11, 2015

CBF Morsch Award Continues to Recognize Extraordinary Legal Aid Attorneys

CBF Report August 2015

Each year, the CBF awards the Thomas H. Morsch Public Service Award, the premier public recognition for long-time legal aid and public interest law attorneys in Chicago. Recently, Chicago’s legal aid community received some great news when Tom Morsch and his family committed to continue their generous endowment of this prestigious award for an additional five years.

Morsch has received much-deserved recognition over the years for his tireless pro bono efforts and exemplary leader- ship in the legal community on access to justice issues. As a longtime partner at Sidley Austin and pro bono leader within the firm, he was one of the earliest advocates for getting private law firms to commit to pro bono service. Yet Morsch always felt that the private bar received a disproportionate amount of recognition for their pro bono contributions com- pared to the lawyers who had dedicated their careers to public interest law, often at great financial sacrifice.

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